Impasto layers blur portraits and landscapes in Li Songsong’s fragmented oil paintings

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#China #impasto #memory #oilpainting #painting #portraits

November 11, 2021

Grace Ebert

“I Am What I Am” (2020), 120 x 100 centimeters. All images © Li Songsong, shared with permission

Chinese artist Li Songsong (formerly) blurs portraits and wider landscapes with thick blobs of oil paint. His textured impasto works are based on found photographs or imagined scenes, and each conveys a narrative linked to ordinary moments or a broader common story. By varying the extent of distortion in each piece, Songsong tells Colossal that interrogation of personal identity is at the heart of his practice. The “cultural and historical aspects are related to China, and the language and expressions are my own,” he explains.

Songsong’s latest works include a tender scene with an officer and his dog, a portrait of a hopeful pilot and a panoramic image with a crowd of hundreds of anonymous faces. The richly layered pieces speak of the ambiguity and fragmentary nature of memories and stories, especially those that are interpreted at a distance and come into focus when viewed further back with a boundary.

Based in Beijing, Songsong is currently working on a new series of works that you can follow on his page.

“Blondi” (2019), 210 x 180 centimeters

“Blondi” (2019), 210 x 210 centimeters

“Tea for Two” (2020), 210 x 210 centimeters

“No More Tears” (2020), 100 x 100 centimeters

“You have not looked at me like that for years” (2020), 170 x 280 centimeters

“Three Decades” (2019), 210 x 420 centimeters

#China #impasto #memory #oilpainting #painting #portraits

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